After the terror attack in Norway, the western world was united in its recognition that extremism in its midsts had to be tackled. The Toulouse terror attack is an indication of how badly the western world has failed in its responsibilities. Israel is constantly demonized to a level that is both totally unjustifiable in terms of the scale or brutality of its conflict with its neighbours, and unparalleled – no other country or entity is singled out and held accountable to the same standards as applied to Israel.
This demonization is not conducted solely by extremists, but is the norm in the mainstream as well. It is carried out by politicians, in the media and by human rights groups – all entities that should be held accountable for the consequences of their incitement. For example, the indisputably mainstream BBC spent thousands of the taxpayers money to make sure a report into its bias against Israel in its coverage remained secret.
The wealth of anti-Israel groups, boycotts and activists is simply overwhelming when it comes to the total apathy and lack of activism when it comes to other issues – often which are far, far worse. People are murdered in their thousands in Sudan or in the Arab Spring, but there is nothing like the death of a Palestinian at the hands of Israel to make ‘concerned’ people recall their outrage. The deaths of Palestinians as a result of inter-Palestinian fighting also does not warrant a reaction from interested parties - only when Israel can be blamed do they remember to be outraged. And therein lies the problem. It is not that Israel is beyond criticism, but the demonization that it is subjected to is beyond acceptable.
Some of the fallout from this demonization happened this week in Toulouse. This attack didn’t happen in isolation – it occurred in an environment where Israel – and consequently Jews – is demonized. The responsibility for this terror attack cannot be dismissed merely as extremism. The responsibility for this attack – and the responsibility to prevent similar attacks in the future – lies far, far wider.